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State police find 11 dead animals, one emaciated dog in Oswegatchie home

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OGDENSBURG — Eleven animals are dead and one dog is receiving medical treatment after what St. Lawrence County Animal Control Officer James E. Pipher said is one of the worst cases of animal neglect he’s ever seen.

Two state police officers knocked on the door of a house on County Route 6 in Oswegatchie about 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

They were looking for someone on a bench warrant, but that’s not who they found.

Through the window at the front door the troopers saw a white pit bull mix approach the door.

“You could see every bone in its body,” one of the troopers said. “As soon as we let him outside he started gulping snow.”

The troopers investigated the house and found that there was no heat, and any water the dog had access to was frozen.

The troopers also found eight dead chickens and two dead rabbits in coops on the side of the house, and a small dead dog lying frozen stiff in the snow.

“I haven’t seen anything like this in a long time,” Mr. Pipher said. “This just made me sick to my stomach.”

Edward C. McGaw Jr., of County Route 6, Oswegatchie, was charged by state troopers with 12 counts of neglect of an impounded animal.

The animals were all under the care of Mr. McGaw, who was renting the property.

The officers said Mr. McGaw told them he had been staying at another residence since Monday, but would stop back three times a week to give the animals food and water.

“But the property hadn’t been plowed and there were no footprints,” one of the officers said. “Plus the condition of the dog was so bad. It’s hard to believe it only took five days to get that bad.”

Police said Mr. McGaw voluntarily surrendered the dog, which was turned over to Mr. Pipher and is being treated at Bridge Port Veterinary Clinic, 5962 Route 812.

Mr. Pipher said normally he would take care of the dog himself until it was ready to be adopted, but this dog needed immediate medical attention.

“It was too weak to even walk in the snow, so I picked it up and carried it to the car,” he said. “At this point, you can’t just give it food and water and expect it to bounce back.”

Mr. McGaw is scheduled to appear in Oswegatchie Town Court.

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